Cross cultural awareness

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  • #58527
    Ian Smith
    Participant

    Has anyone had experience of cross cultural issues whereby they had to integrate two businesses or entities with different values either institutional or geographical? e.g Hofstede / GLOBE framework issues?
    Would be interested to hear your feedback.

    #84328
    Helen Mitchell
    Participant

    Yes, I have had the task of integrating a business before that had it’s head office in the same location as the target and a completely different culture with 3 smaller entities across 3 additional countries. If you were to compare the culture of Canada vs Australia there are clear differences
    – “Australia scores low on this dimension (38). Within Australian organizations, hierarchy is established for convenience, superiors are always accessible and managers rely on individual employees and teams for their expertise. Both managers and employees expect to be consulted and information is shared frequently. At the same time, communication is informal, direct and participative.” (Hofstede insights, 2023)
    – “With a score of 39 on this dimension, Canadian culture is marked by interdependence among its inhabitants and there is value placed on egalitarianism. This is also reflected by the lack of overt status and/or class distinctions in society. Typical of other cultures with a low score on this dimension, hierarchy in Canadian organisations is established for convenience, superiors are always accessible and managers rely on individual employees and teams for their expertise. It is customary for managers and staff members to consult one another and to share information freely. With respect to communication, Canadians value a straightforward exchange of information.” (Hofstede insights, 2023)

    It was particularly interesting to see the differences in power difference with Canada being the head office and the sense of inequality created through the distance between the entities within the firm. Moreso interesting when comparing the target business in Canada to the existing entity in Canada within the acquirer who were more entrepreneurial, less hierarchical and less formal.

    Using the Hofstede / GLOBE framework really helped put in place an action plan for integration. A lot of workshops and employee deep-dives followed in groups to better understand how things got done in both organisations as well as how both organizations work.

    References:
    Hofstede insights (2023). Country Comparison Tool. Online. Available from: https://www.hofstede-insights.com/country-comparison-tool?countries=australia%2Ccanada [Taken 19 August 2023)

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